Finally, we're making some headway.
CBS Sports users were just as committed to stashing him as I was, his ownership never dropping below 72 percent. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, really. He's considered the top prospect in baseball by most publications and offers five-category potential at second base (or at least he will once he's eligible there).
So he's where he belongs now, which is good news in its own right. The offshoot for me, though, is the opportunity to showcase one additional prospect in my Five on the Verge this time around.
And with the approaching trade deadline promising new avenues for playing time, I have no shortage of candidates.
Five on the verge
(These are the prospects most worth stashing in redraft leagues.)
Amed Rosario, SS, Mets
2016 minors: .324 BA (479 AB), 5 HR, 19 SB, .833 OPS, 40 BB, 87 K
2017 minors: .330 BA (364 AB), 7 HR, 17 SB, .841 OPS, 21 BB, 58 K
We've been waiting for Rosario for nearly as long as we waited for Moncada, and considering he's a shortstop, his arrival may be even more exciting. It's also likely tied to whatever the Mets do at the deadline, as this tweet from Peter Gammons Wednesday morning so ably reminded us:
Mets will give Red Spx Astrubal Cabera. SH, 3B-2B, 9 HR, hits LHP— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 19, 2017
Was it a report? Mere speculation? Wishful thinking? No one else in the entire Twitterverse has been able corroborate this claim, but even so, it made us all sit up a little straighter and come to terms with the idea that Rosario's fortunes could change in an instant. A report in The Record earlier his week suggested that Rosario would already be in the majors if not for concerns that Asdrubal Cabrera would make the rookie's transition a miserable one, so it all hinges on the Mets finding a taker for the disgruntled veteran.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox
2016 minors: .282 BA (503 AB), 11 HR, 18 SB, .779 OPS, 40 BB, 94 K
2017 minors: .308 BA (302 AB), 19 HR, 0 SB, .960 OPS, 33 BB, 58 K
The Red Sox's acquisition of Todd Frazier was "inevitable," Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports suggested earlier this week, and Martin Prado made for an easy fallback option. But Frazier is now a Yankee, and Prado is back on the DL, leaving the Red Sox with no obvious candidates for their third base vacancy. They're reported to have some interest in Eduardo Nunez (and presumably Asdrubal Cabrera), but president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski may come to realize the best choice is already in the organization. The Red Sox would probably prefer to slow the 20-year-old Devers down, but his performance is making it near impossible. He went 4 for 4 with a homer in his Triple-A debut Saturday and is the sort of transcendent talent that quite often beats its timetable.
Ozzie Albies, 2B, Braves
2016 minors: .292 BA (552 AB), 6 HR, 30 SB, .778 OPS, 52 BB, 96 K
2017 minors: .293 BA (362 AB), 7 HR, 21 SB, .782 OPS, 24 BB, 78 K
You may have noticed Dansby Swanson has done next to nothing this year. You may have also noticed he has stopped playing every day. You may not have noticed, however, that Albies has begun splitting his time between second base and shortstop at Triple-A Gwinnett. Ultimately, it may not matter. The Braves still figure to trade impending free agent Brandon Phillips, but this latest development suggests Albies' arrival doesn't depend on it. The 20-year-old has already shown he can hit for average and steal bases and lately has demonstrated some power, batting .336 with five homers, five triples, six doubles and an .928 OPS over his last 146 at-bats.
Lewis Brinson, OF, Brewers
2016 minors: .268 BA (406 AB), 15 HR, 17 SB, .773 OPS, 21 BB, 87 K
2017 minors: .343 BA (245 AB), 10 HR, 10 SB, .984 OPS, 27 BB, 54 K
Keon Broxton is not a major reason why the Brewers are surprise contenders in the NL Central. He's a liability in center field and has recently slumped to a .222 batting average, in part because of his NL-leading 120 strikeouts. It's true their top prospect, Lewis Brinson, didn't exactly dazzle in his first taste of the majors back in June, going 3 for 31 with 13 strikeouts, but he also didn't play so regularly and was mostly just getting his feet wet.
"I learned to be patient and kind of stay within yourself," he recently told MLB.com. "Obviously, [major-league pitchers] have good stuff, but they know how to get you out of your element a little bit."
The 23-year-old seems to have applied those lessons in his return to Triple-A Colorado Springs, batting an incredible .426 (29 for 68) with four homers, three steals, a 1.230 OPS and just eight strikeouts in 16 games. He may end up being more of a difference-maker than anything the Brewers acquire at the trade deadline.
Reynaldo Lopez, SP, White Sox
2016 majors: 5-3, 4.91 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 44 IP, 22 BB, 42 K
2017 minors: 6-5, 3.78 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 100 IP, 39 BB, 101 K
Looks like Miguel Gonzalez, fresh off the DL, will be the one to fill the hole created in the Jose Quintana trade, but he, Derek Holland, James Shields and especially Mike Pelfrey are just begging to be replaced with the way they've performed this year. And Lopez is just begging for a call-up with the way he has performed of late, striking out 12 over seven two-hit innings in his latest start Sunday. It was the fourth straight start in which he allowed two earned runs or fewer and his second double digit-strikeout effort during that stretch. Armed with a fastball that approaches triple digits, he may well have surpassed Lucas Giolito as the most valuable piece to come over in the Adam Eaton deal.
Five on the periphery
(These are some other prospects doing something of note.)
Derek Fisher, OF, Astros
2016 minors: .255 BA (478 AB), 21 HR, 28 SB, .815 OPS, 83 BB, 154 K
2017 minors: .309 BA (324 AB), 21 HR, 14 SB, .962 OPS, 31 BB, 68 K
Five on the Periphery isn't intended to depict whatever spills over from Five on the Verge, but in the case of Fisher, it'll have to serve that purpose. I'm a little surprised the Astros opted to call up Colin Moran with Carlos Correa out for two months, especially after Fisher went 5 for 18 with two home runs in his first taste of the majors last month. It's not like they needed another infielder, after all. Marwin Gonzalez is the player who'll most often fill in for Correa at shortstop, and he had been playing mostly left field. If Moran doesn't make an immediate impression (and he may not get the chance, frankly), I think the Astros switch to Fisher, possibly in a matter of days. Fisher has hit .353 (12 for 34) with three homers in his last eight games at Triple-A.
Chance Adams, SP, Yankees
2016 majors: 13-1, 2.33 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 127 1/3 IP, 39 BB, 144 K
2017 minors: 10-3, 1.94 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 97 1/3 IP, 41 BB, 99 K
More overflow from Five on the Verge, Adams may not be a high-priority stash anymore. The Yankees turned to Luis Cessa after losing Michael Pineda for the season, and they're expected to make a play for a starting pitcher at trade deadline. Adams hasn't exactly helped his case either. While he retains an impressive ERA, he has thrown no more than five innings in any of his last four starts and has averaged 4.3 walks per nine innings over his last eight. He may not be a finished product just yet.
Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers
2016 minors: .255 BA (443 AB), 30 HR, .903 OPS, 86 BB, 131 K
2017 minors: .270 BA (319 AB), 20 HR, .884 OPS, 39 BB, 97 K
Another stashable prospect for redraft leagues, Stewart would be the most promising choice to replace the departed J.D. Martinez in the Tigers outfield, having emerged as one of the minors' best home run hitters over the last two seasons. He also walks a fair amount, giving him a chance to be a Carlos Santana-like performer in the majors, but if the Tigers are in full rebuild mode, they won't ask the 23-year-old to skip Triple-A. Stewart has spent all of 2017 at Double-A Erie.
Blake Rutherford, OF, White Sox
2016 minors: .351 BA (114 AB), 3 HR, 0 SB, .986 OPS, 13 BB, 30 K
2017 minors: .281 BA (274 AB), 2 HR, 9 SB, .733 OPS, 25 BB, 55 K
The prize of the Todd Frazier deal obviously isn't redraft-league material as a 20-year-old at low Class A, but he is a much better prospect than the numbers would suggest, considered by some evaluators to be the best high school hitter in the 2016 draft. His smooth left-handed swing is more geared for line drives right now, but his bat speed gives him significant power potential that he'll learn to tap into as he fills out.
Jordan Patterson, OF, Rockies
2016 minors: .293 BA (427 AB), 14 HR, .856 OPS, 47 BB, 118 K
2017 minors: .284 BA (324 AB), 18 HR, .898 OPS, 26 BB, 92 K
Speaking of learning to tap into one's power potential, Patterson has apparently -- and quite suddenly -- done just that at Triple-A Albuquerque, homering six times in a span of five games July 7-14. And it wasn't a total outlier: Over his last 36 games, he has hit .380 with 10 homers and a 1.146 OPS. The Pacific Coast League is of course a hitter-friendly environment, and Patterson is a little old for the minors at age 25. But look at what Baseball America had to say about him coming into the year:
"Patterson drives the ball well to the central part of the field, has a flat swing and has the size and strength to make adjustments to hit more home runs."
The Rockies are overloaded at first base and the outfield already, so Patterson's return (he played briefly in the majors last year) probably isn't on the horizon. But Coors Field has a history of turning surprise minor-league contributors into legitimate Fantasy assets. That's how it all started for both Corey Dickerson and Matt Holliday.